Marriage License Requirements
Are wedding bells in the air? Planning your dream wedding involves a myriad of details, and one crucial aspect is obtaining a marriage license. In Florida, like many other states, marriage license fees and requirements play a significant role in ensuring your union is legally recognized. Let’s dive into the essentials of marriage license fees in the Sunshine State and what you need to navigate this process seamlessly.
Understanding Marriage License Fees
When it comes to marriage license fees in Florida, there are two key figures to keep in mind:
- $93.50 – Marriage License without Premarital Course Certificate
- $61.00 – Marriage License with Premarital Course Certificate
The disparity in these fees underscores the importance of completing a premarital course conducted by a registered premarital provider. If both you and your partner successfully complete this course, you’ll be entitled to a reduced application fee of $61.00, as opposed to the standard $93.50. This offers a great incentive to engage in premarital counseling and education.
The Marriage License Application Process
Obtaining a marriage license involves a straightforward process, but it’s essential to understand the requirements:
- Age Criteria:
- Both applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply without parental consent.
- Applicants aged 16-17 require a birth certificate, identification, and notarized consent from parents or guardians.
- Applicants under 16 need approval from a County Court Judge.
- No Blood Test Required: Unlike some states, Florida does not require a blood test for obtaining a marriage license.
- Reading the “Family Law Handbook”: Both applicants must read the “Family Law Handbook” as mandated by law.
- Photo Identification and Social Security: Applicants must provide photo identification (e.g., driver’s license, passport) and Social Security numbers.
- Waiting Period:
- Florida residents face a 3-day waiting period unless they attend a 4-hour pre-marital course.
- Non-Florida residents are exempt from the waiting period but must read the “Family Law Handbook.”
- Previous Marriages: If previously married, provide divorce decree or spouse’s death date.
- Marriage Preparation Course: Completing a marriage preparation course offers benefits like fee reduction and waiver of waiting period for Florida residents.
- Proxy and Common Law Marriages: Proxy marriages are not allowed, and Florida does not recognize common law marriages.
- Marriage Officiants and Witnesses: Marriage officiants include ordained clergy, notaries, and justices of the peace. Witnesses are not required.
- Expiration Date of Marriage License: The marriage license is valid for 60 days after issuance.
Where to Apply
The process of applying for a marriage license involves contacting your local Manatee County Clerk’s Office. It’s advisable to get in touch well in advance of your wedding to understand office hours and requirements. Remember, each county may have its nuances, so thorough research is essential.
Navigating the world of marriage license fees in Florida may seem complex, but with the right information, it becomes manageable. From understanding the difference between fees with and without a premarital course certificate to familiarizing yourself with age requirements and waiting periods, you’re now equipped to take the next step toward your happily ever after.
1. Is a blood test required to obtain a marriage license in Florida? No, Florida does not require a blood test for marriage license applications.
2. Can out-of-state couples apply for a marriage license in Florida? Yes, you don’t need to be a Florida resident to apply for a marriage license in the state.
3. How long is a Florida marriage license valid? A Florida marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance.
4. Are witnesses required during the marriage ceremony in Florida? No, witnesses are not required for the marriage ceremony in Florida.
5. Can cousins marry legally in Florida? Yes, both first and second cousins are legally allowed to marry in Florida.